Eating healthy is important, yet making healthy food choices isn’t always easy. Misleading claims on product labels and packaging make choosing more difficult. Below are five simple steps to help you purchase healthier foods while shopping.
Never go to the store hungry
Going to the store with a blood sugar that’s plummeting will most certainly guarantee less than healthful choices as your cravings for the quickly digested energy found in simple sugars peak. A sensible meal or snack before shopping can be the difference between Tastycakes versus tasty strawberries ending up in your cart.
Make a list and stick to it
Don’t leave your grocery purchases up to chance. Plan what you are going to buy before ever stepping foot inside the store. Commit to those decisions by making a list and then once in the store make sure you stick to the list.
Shop the stores perimeter
There seems to be a growing consensus among health professionals that the more processing a food undergoes, the less nutrition it provides. Luckily, most “fresh” items are conveniently located along the stores outer perimeter. Things like fresh fruits and veggies, meats and seafood, eggs and diary. The bulk of the foods in your cart should come from these sections.
If you can’t pronounce all the ingredients contained in a food item then don’t buy itI don’t know about you, but if I can’t pronounce the ingredients, I’m not buying. While many of these additives are supposed to be safe, at the very least they are another sign that a food has undergone mass processing.
Pay with cash
Believe it or not, paying with green seems to increase the likelihood of buying more greens. That’s right, new research suggests that the “pain” of paying with cash may deter impulsive behaviors, and that includes making unhealthy food purchases. But simply using your debit card isn’t sufficient since debit cards also seem to damp down this effect. In order to really feel the pain of payment you need to physically fork over the cash.
And that’s it! Simple. Good luck and great health.